BB vandalism reports continue

Published 6:31 am Friday, May 7, 2010

Austin police are investigating more than 20 BB gun vandalism cases reported in the last eight days as new calls continue to trickle in.

The bulk of the reports came early last Wednesday, but police are continuing to deal with cases this week. Most recently, reports were filed by a property owner in the 900 block of Sixth Avenue Southeast and staff at Trimble’s Cycle Center, located at 900 10th Drive SE.

Both instances involved damage to a building’s windows, and both were reported Monday.

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It is unclear if those cases are related to at least 14 cases called in beginning at around 4 a.m. on April 28. The first reports came from the Fourth Avenue Northwest area between the 800 block and 1100 block, where numerous vehicles were damaged.

However, police have dealt with cases from throughout the city. Of the cases, several have involved businesses — in addition to the reported damage at Trimble’s, owners of Excalibur Laundries in the 900 block of First Avenue Southwest, Citi Financial Services on Main Street, Ruskell Hardware on 18th Avenue Northwest, Jerry’s Other Place on Main Street and Subway on Oakland Avenue have all called police.

Soon after the first calls last week, police received a possible suspect vehicle description from one witness. That vehicle is being described as a dark-colored, older and smaller SUV. No make or model has been determined, though police said it was similar in style to a Chevrolet Blazer.

Authorities are looking at surveillance footage from an ATM machine near Ruskell Hardware to see if they can pick up more on the vehicle.

Police have not, however, identified a suspect or suspects, and Lt. John Mueller said it is too early in the investigation to say definitively how many people were involved.

Anyone with tips is asked to call the Austin Police Department at (507) 437-9400.